Root calls for ICC judgement on Ahmedabad pitch

27 February 2021 01:04:45 GMTPlus10

Joe Root says it is up to the International Cricket Council to make its own judgement on the state of the pitch during England's 10-wicket defeat to India in the third Test this week.

The contest in Ahmedabad was over inside two days, as England were bowled out for 112 during their first innings before succumbing for just 81 during their second on a pitch that seemingly made it impossible for batsmen to survive.

Indeed, India's victory was secured inside just 140.2 overs, making it the shortest Test match in terms of deliveries since 1935, while the defeat also ended England's hopes of reaching the final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand this summer.

Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Sir Andrew Strauss and Sir Alastair Cook have all been critical of the state of the pitch, but Root has taken a more pragmatic approach by suggesting the ICC may want to draw their own conclusions.

"I think that this surface was a very challenging one, a very difficult one to play on. But it's not for players to decide if it's fit for purpose; that's up to the ICC," Root told reporters.

"I'm paid to play the game, not make those decisions, but it's something that I'm sure they look at off the back of the last couple of matches. There always has to be an element of home advantage, because that is part of the beauty of Test cricket. It's just how extreme you're willing to let the wickets be."

It wasn't all doom and gloom for Root, who took career-best figures of 5-8 during India's first innings, but the 30-year-old also felt that  was more of an indictment of the pitch than a reflection of his bowling abilities.

"If I'm getting five wickets on there that sums the pitch up slightly," the 30-year-old added. "People had to watch me get wickets on there which shouldn't be the case."

England are now 2-1 down in the series, but they are priced at 3.75 to salvage a draw by winning next week's fourth and final Test, while India are available at 1.53 and the draw is on offer at 7.50.

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